One-step synthesis of monodisperse AuNPs@PANI composite nanospheres as recyclable catalysts for 4-nitrophenol reduction

  • Runming Li
  • Zhiyuan Li
  • Qiang Wu
  • Dongfeng Li
  • Jiahua Shi
  • Yuewen Chen
  • Shuling Yu
  • Tao Ding
  • Congzhen Qiao
Research Paper


Oxidative polymerization of aniline was carried out in ethanol using chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) as the oxidant. Simultaneous reduction of HAuCl4 and formation of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and polyaniline (PANI) composite nanospheres (AuNPs@PANI nanospheres) were achieved without using any templates or structure-directing agents. The composite nanospheres are uniformly distributed with an average diameter of about 400 nm, in which the ultrafine AuNPs with size of about 2–4 nm were evenly embedded in the PANI matrix which acted as the dispersing agent and stabilizer of AuNPs. In addition, the catalytic performance of these composite nanospheres towards the reduction of 4-nitrophenol in the presence of NaBH4 was studied. Furthermore, the possible formation mechanism and catalytic mechanism of the self-assembled AuNPs@PANI nanospheres were also discussed.

Graphical Abstract


Polyaniline Nanospheres Gold nanoparticles Composites Catalytic performance Self-assembling 



This work was supported by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21073054), Natural Science Foundation of Henan Province (Grant No. 102300410180), the Natural Science Foundation of the Education Department of Henan Province (Grant No. 0001F01124), Innovation Scientists and Technicians Troop Construction Projects of Henan Province (C20150011) and the Foundation for University Young Key Teacher by Henan Province (Grant No. 2009GGJS-021). We also thank Professor Suat Hong Goh, Hardy S. O. Chan and Chorng-Haur Sow at the National University of Singapore for their helpful discussions.

Supplementary material

11051_2016_3452_MOESM1_ESM.docx (538 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 537 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Fine Chemical and Engineering, Engineering Laboratory for Flame Retardant and Functional Materials of Henan Province, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringHenan UniversityKaifengChina

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